holiday traditions are important

Holiday Traditions are Important for Children

Holiday Traditions are Important for Children

As the holiday season winds down over the next week or so, it’s a good time to think through our holiday traditions. Your family may have age old traditions that you continue to celebrate. Or your family may have tried some new things to celebrate the holidays this year. Either way, it’s helpful to evaluate what works for your family, what traditions to continue, and what traditions to let go of. And in the process, let’s consider how holiday traditions are important for children.

The Value of Traditions

Are holiday traditions really important for children? It may not seem like it. Does it matter if we drive around to look at holiday lights or set up certain decorations or eat certain foods? Here are a few ways that traditions do matter for our kids.


Emotionally healthy kids are secure kids, and security can come from all kinds of life encounters. Consistency is a major influence on security. And holiday traditions provide consistency from year to year. Kids like to know what to expect and what is expected of them. Knowing what to expect takes out the feeling of uncertainty. It leads to more joy and excitement as our kids can look forward to their favorite fun activities. It provides stability during a busy time of the year. And so, traditions do provide a measure of security in the changing seasons.

An Anchor

Traditions also provide a sense of belonging. Our traditions often have to do with our family values. They reflect what is important to our family. They also show our family’s personality. These ideas of belonging, of celebrating values, and of showing off our family style – they provide an anchor for our children. Belonging to a family is a big deal. Sharing in and enjoying traditions together gives a way to strengthen that belonging. Our kids know that this is what MY family does.

And do you know that even a lack of traditions is a tradition? If you decide that you don’t want your family to celebrate holidays in certain ways, that still gives your kids a sense of belonging. As long as you explain where you’re coming from and why you do not celebrate in this way, it’s your own family’s way of doing things. And so your kids will still have that feeling of “this is what MY family does.” 

Traditions Vary by Family

There is no set way to have a family tradition. When we think of all the possibilities, we see that traditions vary as much as every family varies from another family. Your traditions reflect whatever is important to you. So you don’t have to do what everyone else seems to be doing. You get to decide along with your family what traditions are important to you. This is part of what makes traditions so beautiful. They reflect you and where you’ve come from, how you’ve changed or grown, and what your dreams are for the future. In this way, holiday traditions are important for our children.

Evaluate Your Traditions

And so it’s important to evaluate our traditions. There are things we may do with our young children that we can let go of as our kids get older. Or it could be that you’ve let go of certain beliefs or ways of thinking, and so the traditions that go along with those ideas can be set aside. Perhaps you’ve adopted a new way of thinking, and you’d like a tradition to reflect that new way of thinking. 

Maybe a good tradition for your family is to try something new every holiday season. This is still a great tradition, and something your kids can look forward to.

And be sure to evaluate your traditions with your children. Sometimes we don’t realize what is important to them. For example, for a few years now, I’ve made a big charcuterie-style spread to lay out on Christmas Day. We would just snack on all the goodies and enjoy them throughout the day until I put it away a few hours before Christmas dinner. This year, I said that we probably didn’t really need all that food plus a Christmas dinner all in one day. When I said that I probably wouldn’t do the big spread this year, my kids all protested. They insisted, “That’s one of the best things about Christmas!” I had no idea how important it was to them. So I’m making the big charcuterie thing again because to my kids, that’s what WE do on Christmas. This holiday tradition is important to my children, so we’ll do it.

My Signing Time Holiday Shows

Signing Time Christmas” has lots of great holiday signs for the season and for some of our traditions. And it’s free to watch right now! My Signing Time has lots of holiday shows, and many of them are free to watch for the month of December. It’s a great way to check it out and see if My Signing Time would be a good resource for your family. It’s also a great idea for a last minute gift that they could enjoy all year long!

Try out My Signing Time with a 14-day free trial here!

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